Somewhat lost in the news of the New York Yankees signing Brian Roberts, the former Baltimore Oriole, was the signing of lefty-reliever Matt Thornton to a two-year, $7 million deal, pending a physical.
Earlier this week, the Yankees lost Boone Logan to the Colorado Rockies, after he signed a 3-year deal worth $16.5 million. This took away the Yankees’ primary lefty-reliever from the last three seasons or so. Without Logan, it was looking more and more like the Yankees would have to rely on César Cabral to handle the job that Logan had done so well.
The signing of Thornton brings some peace of mind, as now, the Yankees won’t have to use Cabral as much. In eight games last season, Cabral pitched to a 2.45 ERA, and lefty hitters were batting just .125 against him. While those numbers are good, eight games is really not enough time, especially for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery, to prove himself.
Thornton on the other hand, appeared in 60 games last season for both the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. In those 60 games, he had an ERA of 3.74. Compare that to Boone Logan‘s 3.23 ERA from last season, and the signing of Thornton looks as though it is pretty solid.
The Yankee bullpen may be considered a bit of an unknown heading into the 2014 season, as the loss of Mariano Rivera casts a shadow over the rest of the relief corps. However, the signing of Thornton, possibly combined with Cesar Cabral, could make for a formidable lefty-relief platoon for Joe Girardi next season.